Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Beaver County Economic Update

Lecia Parks Langston, Senior Economist

In recent years, Beaver County’s economic landscape has been dominated by the ebb and flow of large-project construction employment. Third quarter 2013 proved no exception to the pattern. Between September 2012 and September 2013, small Beaver County added 300 new jobs. The accompanying job-growth rate of 13.7 percent placed Beaver County in the top spot in Utah.

On the other hand, roughly two-thirds of these positions occurred in construction and will eventually disappear. Nevertheless, mining, manufacturing, utilities, leisure/hospitality services and government all added notable numbers of new positions which should continue into the future.

With such strong employment expansion, the county’s unemployment rate has dropped dramatically. In fact, Beaver County’s December 2013 unemployment rate estimate stands at 3.6 percent—lower than the Utah average of 4.1 percent. That’s an uncommon occurrence for a rural county.

Not only does construction dominate the employment scene, but large-business expenditures in construction and manufacturing overshadow its gross taxable sales figures. Between the third quarters of 2012 and 2013, sales increased by a whopping 44 percent.

In the final analysis, even when the current construction employment surge has evaporated, the county should still find itself on a sound economic footing.